SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer came in second, behind Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a survey of potential California governor candidates released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling.
Faulconer was supported by 20 percent of 882 respondents surveyed by phone over two days last week, while Newsom led with 25 percent.
Newsom, who has been aiming for the office for years, has been widely considered the front-runner in the race and usually ranks first in polling.
Faulconer, on the other hand, has never publicly expressed interest in the race. Party officials have talked him up over the past year or two as a moderate Republican who can win big-city elections, and he has reportedly discussed a statewide run privately with potential supporters.
Among other possible candidates to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was third with 13 percent, ex-Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin fourth with 12 percent and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with 9 percent.
For Republicans, Faulconer outpolled Swearengin, 45-22 percent. According to news reports, she told a community group last month that she had no interest in running for governor.
If Sen. Dianne Feinstein opts to retire, instead of run for reelection, Faulconer polled second with 18 percent in the poll, behind recently seated state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who had 21 percent.
The poll's error rate is plus or minus 3.3 percent.